Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats in SNL:Few options have emerged for reviving the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal in Washington following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent decision to halt permitting of the controversial project, according to stakeholders involved.On May 9, the Corps announced that it halted the permitting process for the terminal in response to a challenge from the Lummi Nation over fishing waters protected by tribal agreements. The project would have been one of the largest coal terminals ever built in the U.S.Project-backer SSA Marine, which previously suspended its own environmental review, stopped short of offering any clear plan for challenging the Corps’ decision when it was announced. However, a representative did tell S&P Global Market Intelligence that it is exploring all possible options for reviving the project.Mark Squillace, a University of Colorado law professor and former member of the U.S. Department of the Interior solicitor’s office, cast some doubt on the ability to challenge the decision in court. Squillace called the case “pretty air tight.”Specifically, Squillace cited a part of the decision that stated: “To evaluate impacts on treaty fishing rights, the Corps conducts a de minimis determination to determine whether the impacts to treaty fishing rights are of legal significance. If it is legally significant, then Congressional authorization would be required to allow the impact. The process includes request for specific information in the form of declarations regarding the Lummi’s fishing and crabbing activities at or near the proposed project.”“Importantly … the company does not appear to contest this point so it does not seem like it could be raised on appeal,” Squillace said. “And if that is indeed the legal standard, then I think the Corps has offered a solid justification for their decision.”For that reason, he said the court would be unlikely to find the Corps’ actions “arbitrary and capricious.”“It would not surprise me if the company appeals and there may be procedural issues that are not evident from the face of the decision, but on the merits I think the Corps is on pretty solid ground,” Squillace said.Full article $:   https://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/article.aspx?ID=36496440&KPLT=4 Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”last_img

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